The present Food Security Strategy (FSS) updates the original one of 1996 by sharpening the strategic elements to address food insecurity based on lessons learned. In recognition that the pursuit of food security is a long-term and multi-sector challenge, institutional strengthening and capacity building is included as a central element of the Strategy. As in the past, however, the overall objective of the present Strategy is to ensure food security at the household level, while Agricultural Development Led Industrialization (ADLI) shall focus on creating the conditions for national food self-sufficiency.High population growth rates continue to undermine Ethiopia’s ability to be food secured and provide effective education, health and other essential social and economic services. The central elements of the policy focus on improving the database for family planning services, and expanding education, and a multi-sector approach. Full attention will be given to the attainment of these goals within the remit of the food security strategy and subsequent programmes.Chapter III addresses both the supply and the demand side of the food equation – that is, availability and entitlement respectively from both a national and household level perspective. The strategy adopted rests on three basic pillars: 1) To increase the availability of food through increased domestic production; 2) To ensure access to food for food deficit households; and 3) To strengthen emergency response capabilities.Chapter II suggests that the underlying causes are twofold: on the one hand they are chronic and on the other they are acute. Chronic food insecurity is commonly perceived as a result of overwhelming poverty indicated by a lack of assets. Acute food insecurity is viewed as more of a transitory phenomenon related to man made, and unusual shocks, such as drought. While the chronically food insecure population may experience food deficits relative to need in any given year, irrespective of the impact of shocks, the acutely food insecure are assumed to require short term assistance to help them cope with unusual circumstances that impact temporarily on their. A combination of short-term and long-term causal factors can explain the trend towards the increasing food insecure caseload. Long-term factors, such as the interaction between environment, high population growth, diminishing land-holdings, and a lack of on-farm technological innovation have led to a significant decline in productivity per household. These trends have combined with the repeated effects of drought over the years, to substantially erode the productive assets of communities and households. A loss of community assets (e.g., pasture and forest) has led to increasing environmental degradation and increased the pressure on-farm, leading to declining investment in soil and water conservation practices. More importantly, households are less able to cope with shocks because they cannot accumulate savings (e.g., livestock holdings and food stores) even in good years.The vulnerable populations is identified and described as follows in the Table entitled “Indicative category of food insecure households in Ethiopia”: Resource poor households in rural areas which are land-less or land-scarce, or oxen-less; poor pastoralists; female-headed households; elderly; disabled and sick; poor non-agricultural households; newly established settlers. The next category is Low income Households in urban areas employed in the informal sector; those outside the labour market, such as but not exclusive the elderly; disabled and sick; some female-headed households; street children; refugees; displaced people.Both long term and short term strategies are envisaged in the present Strategy. The long term is to eliminate food-insecurity and in the short term efforts shall be made to promote farmer seed production and marketing schemes until the demand for seed is increased sufficiently to interest the private sector. Elsewhere, it is underlined that the acutely food insecure shall receive short term assistance to help them cope with unusual circumstances that impact temporarily on their livelihoods.The gender dimension of food security is critical in Ethiopia as women contribute greatly to economic development. In addition to women’s reproductive role, women also have a substantive productive role in the rural sector, including participation in livestock maintenance and management, crop production, and the marketing of rural produce. Building on the constitutionally granted democratic, economic and social rights of women, the National Policy on Ethiopian Women (1993) will further create an enabling environment for the empowerment of women through integration of gender perspectives in the design and implementation of economic and social policies, programs and projects.Environmental sustainability is critical to the pursuit of food security and economic development generally. Development depends on appropriate and sustainable use of the environment and the management of natural resources.Chapter 3 is the core of the present Strategy and Part B) of this Chapter deals with Essential Elements of the Strategy. First and foremost, the Agricultural Production, Marketing and Credit; It is underlined that the Food Security Strategy, as a multi-sector strategy, will touch on many different policy areas including that of land tenure and land use, rural credit and marketing systems. With regard to land management, the Government will increase security of tenure through certification, and with community participatory land use planning, better manage the natural resources.Section 2 of Part B concerns Pastoral Areas. The goals of agricultural activities in pastoral areas are: increasing livestock farm productivity and improving the welfare of the people through voluntary and non-coercive settlement in consultation with local communities. This necessitates integrated intervention programmes and setting up a culturally acceptable mechanism to oversee the utilization and management of resources. Section 3 lays down provisions relating to Micro and Small Scale Enterprises. The three main areas of public policy, which will influence the patterns of growth, are: i) Provision of infrastructure, ii) Encouragement of competitive marketing of input and output, and iii) Taxation of selective commodities to shift the consumption patterns. These government interventions will assist the growth of industries dominated by agro-processing. Moreover, emphasis will be given to address the constraints in the areas of education, credit, research and extension, risk and uncertainty. Section 4 considers Agricultural Exports and Diversification. The natural resource base of the country provides ample opportunities for diversification of horticulture, oilseeds, and pulses, which contribute to some degree of exports. The potential of exports in some other commodities like canned meat, leather products and garment needs further exploration. In line with this, attentions will be given to the problems of product quality, processing, transportation and etc.Part C) of Chapter III lays down provisions relating to Additional Entitlement/Access and Targeted Programmes. Here it is underlined that increase in agricultural production, economic growth and employment will add to food availability and increase income (and therefore entitlements) over the medium term. However, these factors are not enough by themselves to ensure sufficient food for everyone. The short-term objective of programmes that aim to ensure food entitlement is avoidance of death by starvation, while the longer-term aim is building the capacity of households, both rural and urban, to attain food security on their own. The focus throughout the programmes is to increase food entitlement will be on the most vulnerable groups and households. Under entitlement, there are three major components: i) Employment/income support schemes; ii) Targeted programmes; iii) Nutrition intervention.Part D of Chapter III deals with Emergency Capabilities. The Government will continue to strengthen its emergency response capabilities, including the monitoring, surveillance, and early warning arrangements, the capacity for food and relief distribution, strategic reserves of food grains, and its analysis of the international food trade and aid situation. At the same time, the methods used to judge the onset of food insecurity will further be fine tuned and develop the capacity to better able to assess the risk of an occurrence of event, which will affect food security, the likelihood of adverse effects, and the levels of vulnerability of households.Part E on Institutional Strengthening, Networking and Capacity Building specifies that institutional capacity building focuses on short and long-term training. More focus is given to the technical vocational training in order to produce skilled and competent staff at the grass root level who can do the job that would create wealth. Added to this, training institutes tailored to technical vocational training needs and farmers training centres are established while existing ones are strengthened. The text consists of 3 Chapters as follows: Introduction (I); Dimensions and Causes of Food Security (II); The Food Security Strategy (III).
Implemented by: National Nutrition Strategy. (2008-01)
Implemented by: Food Security Programme 2010-2014. (2009)
Authors and Publishers
DeFranchis, Elfriede (LEGN)